I have a disturbing problem I own a Buick Roadmaster...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a disturbing problem. I own a 1993 Buick Roadmaster. Recently, the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. I went back to the dealer who sold me the car. They couldn't take care of me right away, so the car had to stay there a few days. When they got to it, they found a dead rat in the heater duct. Of course, the rat was removed. But the service manager told me to be sure and keep my windows closed so the rat problem doesn't happen again. He said the rat had to get in the duct from the INSIDE of the car. Well, I never, ever open my windows except when I go to the bank. There was a bar of candy in my little litter box right in front of the heater opening, but it had not been chewed, so I see no evidence that a rat was inside the car. How do you suppose the rat got inside?

TOM: I think the rat got in at the dealership, Maxie. Did you ask them if they're missing any salesmen?

RAY: Whatever its origin, my guess is that it came in from the outside. Most rodents enter cars from the ventilation ducts, which are outside the car, right below the front windshield at the top of the engine compartment. The little varmits usually go in seeking warmth and protection from the elements. And unfortunately, most of them don't get back out.

TOM: But if your dealer has determined that the rat was on the inside section of the ventilation system, and that it had to have entered from the inside, then perhaps it got in while the car was at the dealership. They had the car for several days. Maybe THEY left the windows open?

RAY: There's only one way to find out for sure, Maxie. Ask for a description of the rat. If it was wearing plaid pants, white shoes and a little white rat belt when they pulled it out, I would say it's definitely a dealership rat.

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